Wild swimming grew by 300% in 2020 with over 2m taking part in the UK alone. Above Below are inventors of the RuckRaft®, designed and patented to enable self-supported adventures over land & water. Above Below is raising funds to boost their presence in the UK before raising to expand internationally.
- 300% growth for outdoor swimming market in 2020
- The RuckRaft® has been featured on BBC Breakfast and Sunday Times
- Our RuckRaft® is patented in the UK, pending in Europe & has received Notice of Allowance in the USA
- Our kit makes a new, hybrid sport of Cross Country Swimming possible.
Above Below are brothers, Tom and Will Watt. For years on holiday in the UK, they walked around lakes and rivers wishing they could swim across and keep hiking. Seeing the water as an opportunity instead of an obstacle, Above Below was born to take on cross country swimming.
To make this new hybrid sport practical they created the RuckRaft®, a two-piece kit to transform any rucksack into a raft to tow your kit across water.
Above Below has secured a UK patent for the RuckRaft®, with global applications in process. They made and sold 300 RuckRafts in 2020 but can’t cash flow or make them fast enough. Sitting alongside the RuckRaft® are two events, a retreat in Devon and The Swimmer in London.
Outdoor swimming grew by up to 300% in 2020 (UK). More people swim than play football, rugby or cricket combined, over 2m in seas, rivers, lakes & lidos. The cross country swimming market is underserved, with few performance brands and none like Above Below.
Imagine mountaineering before Patagonia or North Face existed. This is an opportunity to lead the evolution of a new sport, brand and business.
What next? The UK swimming market is worth £189m and the outdoor market is 6 x bigger. Above Below are raising to build the community, products, events that enable cross country swimming. We then plan to raise further funds to enable our international expansion.
To capitalise on the opportunity and build on a new sport, brand & business; we're investing in product development, marketing, distribution, partnerships & evolving our scalable routes & events model. Our team has the experience & ability:
Tom Watt, Creative Director: D&AD award winning Art Director with experience across fashion, art & architecture, leading creative direction for global brands including Proenza Schouler, alongside magazine titles ArtReview, Wallpaper* & PORT.
Will Watt, Managing Director (part time): 10 years in marketing, comms & publishing, working for the BBC, NME & Viz Comic, now Director of ‘State of Life’, an organisation which measures wellbeing economics for orgs like Swim England, the LTA, Parkrun, the FA & Sport England. Named advisor on 2021 Treasury Supplementary guidance on wellbeing measurement.
Neil Robinson, Exec Director (part time): COO of Pearson Cycles, where he helped to successfully secure funding for this startup. Avising on profitably grow marketing, operations, product & distribution.
Jenny Scott, PR & Comms (part time): Jenny generated all coverage for Above Below including BBC One, Sunday Times, Guardian, Trail.
We have a network of friends, family, fans & professional investors from banking, law & tech. We're able to draw on this to source relevant expertise at key stages of development e.g. patent & legal advice, European distribution.